• Friday, December 02, 2022

29-Year-Old Author and Book Publisher Secures Her Place Among Publishing Giants

on Sep 27, 2022
Author and Book Publisher

Leaving the security of the medical profession to pursue a lifelong dream of working in the world of literature is a huge step. Keli Hariparsad, a 29-year-old author and book publisher, has not only taken this step, but she is also reaping the benefits.

Her publishing company, Krest Publishers, has released several books by South African authors telling stories that exemplify the country's vibrant cultures and unique history since she left a stressful job in medicine to pursue her dream in 2020.

Not only that, but she is also a published author.

Making the audacious decision to leave medicine for book writing at the start of a global pandemic would fill even the bravest heart with trepidation, but Hariparsad has been rewarded for her bravery by seeing her publishing company grow from strength to strength in less than two years.

Krest Publishers has already made a name for itself in the literary world, having been nominated alongside heavyweights Johnathan Ball, NB Publishers, and Penguin Random House for this year's Book Behind Awards, which will be held next month.

"It's surreal for a company our age to be placed alongside industry titans. I grew up with all of my favorite books from these publishers. It's an overwhelming time for a young company that started from home less than two years ago! "Hariparsad stated.

Krest Publishers was nominated for Best Fiction for Novian Dunne's teenage fantasy Teneo and Best Educational Book for ZMF Patel's book Doctor Anxiety about healthcare worker conditions.

Krest Publishers is also nominated for Best Biography for Cabin Crew Diaries, a book about the adventures of S Bharuth, an air hostess for one of the world's most prestigious airlines, and Best Poetry for Vishnu Kristna's Stepping Stones.

"I spend so much time making sure our house's books are perfect that I don't have much time to focus on my work. So it was both unexpected and exciting to learn that I had been nominated for Best Upcoming Female Author for my book The Four Hundred Club, which was also published by Krest "According to Hariparsad.

While Hariparsad had always enjoyed writing, she did not always believe it was something she could do for a living. She graduated from medical school in 2017 and worked until the end of 2019 in two Durban hospitals.

Her decision to leave a career in medicine was motivated by deteriorating working conditions for healthcare workers and her passion for words, which remained a constant presence in her adult life. She then left her job as a medical doctor to start Krest Publishers.

"At the time, I had no idea it would grow into a full-fledged business, but rather something small and local. All I wanted to do was show that creative careers were as important and viable as academic careers "She stated.

While she expected her book, The Four Hundred Club, to be the first book published by Krest, she said it was Secrets and Lies by Paul Zunckel and Yellow Roses by Sarvdasha Sewlal that got Krest started as a publishing company.

These two books were nominated for Best Fiction and Best Poetry in the 2021 Book Behind Awards, with Yellow Roses winning in its category. She stated that this process taught her that creativity must be combined with business and marketing skills to be a viable career.

According to Hariparsad, Krest Publishers provides publishing agreements in the frameworks of traditional, self-, and hybrid publishing. Krest Publishers assists with routine tasks such as editing, ISBN applications, layout, and cover design.

Krest also assists with book marketing and sales, which Hariparsad describes as the most difficult aspect of book publishing that every author must take personal responsibility for, especially in the digital age, which has significantly expanded readers' choices.

"We've since launched the Krest online bookstore, which also sells for other independent publishers. We have a Krest Conservatoire that offers informal writing classes, as well as the Krest Cars magazine, which is a luxury coffee table publication for owners of high-performance cars "She stated.

South Africa, according to Hariparsad, is "an incredible mine of inspiration." This, she says, inspired Krest Publishers to hold an annual short story competition featuring multicultural characters, local landmarks, tourist destinations, and languages.

"I particularly like how the stories coming out of our country are both reflective of a past from which we can learn and hopeful of a more progressive future. For example, we have struggle stories to humble us, freedom stories to inspire us, and born free stories to demonstrate the inclusive future we are striving for "Hariparsad stated.

Hariparsad envisions Krest Publishers in the future as a platform for all types of creative products and services, including photography, fine arts, performance arts, and multimedia, allowing skilled creators in these mediums to have fulfilling and sustainable careers.

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